Friday, February 24, 2017

7QT: The Week Off


We had the week off!  Well, at least Phil and the kids did.  I've been working a couple shorter days so it's not too bad.  I used to work 60 hours a week during February break when I was a tax accountant, so only having to work 10 hours is totally a treat!


So we drove down to Maryland to see family and friends.  God blessed us with some gorgeous weather.  It was sunny and 70 degrees!  In February!!

The boys played football with their cousins and chose to be skins.  Andrew nicknamed them The Skinny Skins :)

Maggie in heaven with girl cousins!

Lucy came with us and loved running around all the acres at Nana and Gramps' house.  

Finn the Skin

Rory showing off her gymnastics moves

We celebrated JP and my birthday while we were there.  This is the first birthday he's taller than me.  The nerve!


Brendan turned 6 months old!

His first Valentine's Day
I can't wait for his next doctor appointment to see how much he weighs and how tall he is.  I also need to schedule his 6 month old photos but I am waiting until he can sit well on his own.  Then he can go on the wall of 6 month old Martin photos:


Here's some more Brendan pictures because he's just so cute.  I love 6 months old, the babies are happy and content and sleep through the night!

Oh I kiss him all the livelong day.


I must say that going on vacation with kids really is not a vacation.  It's a trip that involves a lot more work than staying home.  I'm still grocery shopping, cooking, doing laundry, changing diapers, etc.  What I really want is a VACATION.  I want to lounge by the pool and go out to dinner and take long runs and walks and sleep in until whenever I want.  How do parents with lots of kids make this happen??  How can married couples recharge and reconnect when they can't ever get alone time?  I don't want to sound ungrateful for my beautiful family, but I've even had priests tell me that a yearly "retreat" getaway with my husband is necessary, and yet it feels impossible to actually do just that.


I think I'm also grouchy because NFP after a baby is just Phase 2 on repeat.  And if you don't know what that means...


Even Mark Twain got it...


Wow, TMI from CMM (that's me).   And TGIF!  Linking up with Kelly and partying like it's my birthday weekend.  As Alexander asked: "Mom, are you going to be 30 tomorrow?  Because you always say you're 29".  Sure thing Xander B :)

Friday, February 17, 2017

7QT: Treadmill Running Tips and Tricks

Yesterday I was running on the treadmill at the gym and realized I totally have a method to dealing with treadmill training because I kinda hate it.  I think I'll make it my Seven Quick Takes Tips today (linking up with Kelly as usual).


I always try and pick a treadmill that is on the end of a row or at least one that is in between two empty treadmills.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when I'm slaving away on the dreadmill and someone occupies the one when there are others available.  I don't want to feel your sweat on me or hear you panting in my ear!  Move along little doggy.


If for some reason I must be right next to another treadmill runner, then guess what?

That's probably only a helpful tip for competitive peeps but it's fun for me!  I sneak a peek at what the person next to me is doing and try to do it just a little bit faster.  

(Click Read More to well, read more...)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

DIY Parenting

DIY, or Do It Yourself, is such a popular option when it comes to most things right now.  Meals are healthier when made from scratch, decorations are more meaningful when you can personalize them, home remodels are cheaper when you put your own sweat into the mix.  With the aid of the Internet, YouTube videos, and Pinterest, you can easily look up how to do almost anything and then try and do it yourself.  But no matter how much money can be saved or how much healthier a lifestyle it will bring, there is something bigger that is gained from doing things yourself.

By DIY, you  gain a deeper relationship and satisfaction in your handiwork.

Now that craft that you just poured your heart into becomes a prized possession to the person receiving it, and the bedroom you just repainted makes you happy every time you pass by.  It's not just a bedroom now, it's your bedroom.  Sure it takes work, but isn't that where the satisfaction is found?  Isn't that how relationships are formed?

Parenting works the same way.

When it comes to raising kids, the "result" of all the hard work of parenting isn't always immediate.  But DIY parenting is still the most rewarding and creative "job" there is.  We are building character, creating relationships, and trying to spruce up the world by raising our children to enter it.  Being a hands-on parent and engaged with your kids is hard sometimes, but that's when the work matters the most.  

I read that when you are working out, trying to build muscle and tone, the only reps that matter, the ones that will change your body, are the ones that are hardest.  So you might fly through the first ten push ups, but by eleven it gets tougher.  Those remaining push ups are the ones strengthening your body.  Easy doesn't get results.  Likewise, it's the parents who tend to sick kids in the middle of the night, comfort them when they are upset, read the same story over and over, cheer them on at their events, listen to their stories, even when it's tiring, especially when it's tiring!, who have the chance of having good relationships with their kids.  On days I am truly engaged with my babies, I feel like I can sleep so soundly, knowing I gave all I could.

I'm not writing this to say "Hey, you should be DIY parenting!"  I'm writing this to say that you are already doing it!  This is a pat on your back if only I could reach.  You are doing the hard work of raising them, and you are forming those relationships and putting in your time and energy.  You are DIY Parenting, just remember this when the days feel long and the patience is running short.  Some people may change their home by updating their family room , but you, YOU, are changing the world by raising your family.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

It's Raining Men on Valentine's Day


Had to get that one out of my system.  It seems like it is raining men, or little men, in the Martin house.   Sometimes I hear myself tell people that I have six sons and I actually have to pause because I shock myself.  Like wait, that can't be right, can it?  We need to find a family of six little ladies all around my boys' ages and betrothe them all.  Then we can just skip all the future dates and broken hearts and drama.  Sounds good.

Anyhoo, when it comes to Valentine's Day and I dream of how to show my main man how much I love him, I can't help but plan on giving all my boys something to let them feel loved and cherished.  Not to fret!  Maggie gets doted on by her Dad, and we hope to show them a glimpse of what a future relationship should look like.  Just not with us....with their pre-determined spouse as previously discussed.  Hee hee.

My big boys, who are almost 14, 12, and 10, feel so loved when they are fed a huge meal of something they like.  One of the best treats I can give them is just to let them pick a meal.  Easy peasy.  These big boys also let me hug them whenever I want, so I take advantage of that and pray it never changes.  We don't do kisses much, I'm just not into kissing my kids once they are past the toddler stage.  Is that weird?

For my littlest men, aged 5 and 2, a little gift makes them feel very special, especially when it's something their big brothers think is cool.  A special treat works for them too,  maybe some chocolate dipped strawberries for dessert, and we will find a cute Valentine's show for them to watch on Netflix. while we are driving the basketball boys to all their games.

All the school kids will be getting a package of Nutella with pretzel sticks in their lunchboxes, a treat that they always look at longingly in the checkout line but I always refuse to buy.  And they will each get a bracelet that I ordered for their stockings but didn't arrive until January.  Valentine's Day gifts for the win!

Some years we just give them a card saying we will take them to a certain movie on the weekend, or sometimes it's a new Valentine's shirt to wear to school, or even just strawberry syrup in their milk at dinner to make it pink.  Whatever it actually is doesn't matter, it truly is the thought behind it, that they are important and loved.  Boys respond so well to these little acts of love and I can't stop myself from showing them who loved them first, before I get happily replaced with all of my future daughters-in-law.

As for that amazing husband of mine, well he's getting a gift he hasn't stopped talking about since he first saw it on TV!  After all the basketball games, we are hoping to grab some takeout and enjoy some homemade creme brulee.  He may actually get a kiss from me too, as he's the only one I want to smooch.

Have fun showing all your loved ones just how much they mean to you!!